Monday, September 30, 2013

Letter # 61 (Wiggins, MS)

Hey momma,
Wow, what a crazy week it's been. Now let me tell you why. 3 baptisms this weekend! So this last week Elder Sumsion and I had anticipated the baptisms of Eran and Stacie, and were doing a great job of planning them. Stacie's was all set for Friday night, with Eran's the following morning at 10. Well, on about Wednesday, I think, I got a call from an investigator in my last area, Byram, MS. Her name is Jen, and I had spent a lot of time teaching her. Well come to find out, she was getting baptized this weekend, and asked if I would baptize her! Lucky for me, she had to work Saturday, so her baptism was scheduled for Sunday at 12:30. So our week consisted of two amazing baptisms Friday and Saturday, then two confirmations on Sunday morning, Elder Sumsion and I speaking in Sacrament meeting following the confirmations, then loading up and driving two and a half hours north to Byram for me to perform the last baptism of the week, Jen's. What an amazing weekend it was, and it all went off without a hitch!
         ~Elder Maddox

Elder Maddox and his new companion  Elder Sumsion
Elder Maddox is at least 6' tall...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Letter # 54 (Wiggins, MS)

Hey Momma!!                                                                                         Aug. 19, 2013
Alright so first of all... What an amazingly awesome week this has been! There was just so much that happened since Wednesday, that I hope I can get it all in! I guess I will just go day by day? That should hopefully work! So Wednesday, after I emailed you, we got out and got after it. We went around trying to contact as many people on our Branch roster as we could, and while we weren't successful in finding any less actives, we were able to teach a few people who had never heard the message of the Restoration. See, Elder Bench and I have an awesome advantage that most missionaries don't have, and that is the fact that here in Wiggins, people haven't seen missionaries like us out and about in over 20 years. So many people have stopped us and checked out our name tag's or just given us some strange looks, and if they look for too long, we take their curiosity as a sign that they want to talk to us! This has actually been quite a productive use of our time, simply walking around, and generating some pretty strange looks! But going back to our awesome Wednesday, we walked around till about 6, and then headed over to the church to try to meet some of the members. There we were able to meet with the entire Branch Presidency, as well as our newly called Branch Mission Leader, Brother Mitchell! Wow, this Branch is so ready to just explode! The Branch President, President Robertson, is a young Branch President, both in age, and in his time as BP, and let me tell you, it doesn't matter, because he is ready to get things done! He has put into place all the tools that we need as an area to be successful! So we met with them, the Branch Council, and discussed all the things that Elder Bench and I hoped too see happen in the few months that we will be here. Well, apparently we said the right things because President Robertson then asked us to not only speak for 10 minutes each, but to also have a combined 3rd hour at church on Sunday, so that we could talk with the members and share with them about what we had in mind for the Wiggins Branch! We accepted, of coarse. Then came Thursday, and we decided that we would spend the whole day on foot, and try to find some Non-members to teach! Great success! We were able to teach 4 lessons, and find 4 new people to teach. It was a very productive day! The next few days, Friday and Saturday were spent meeting with just as many Active member's as we could, and once again, we found a lot of success. We were able to meet with almost 10 families, and share with them what our goals were, and how they as member's could help us out! And let me tell you, after meeting with all of them, I am even more excited about being here! It's a tiny town, with a tiny church, and a small amount of Members, but this is where I am supposed to be! This is exactly what God has in store for me. I feel like my whole mission has come down to my time here in Wiggins. It's hard to stop at night, to lay down my head because my mind is still out on the streets talking to people, or in the members house's sharing with them what we hope to accomplish! I love my mission!
         ~Elder Maddox the First.

Letter #53 (Wiggins, MS)

Hey Mom,                                                                                                        Aug. 14, 2013
WOW is the only adjective to accurately describe this week too you. Talk about a 360 degree turn! I went from being over a few large cities, to having an area that has a few towns...And towns might be too big of a word to describe these places! But it's great! The area is named Wiggins, and it sandwiched in between two big cities, Hattiesburg, and Gulfport, with the Coast of the mission being about 30 minutes away. So lot's of rain and lots of seafood. Both are great! But Wiggins is a pretty crazy area. Like I said it's a few different town's all smashed together to make a branch of about 75 members. Quite a big branch, and excited would be a good word for their new missionaries. I feel like a celebrity. In all of my other area's, people will come up to us and shake our hand's and what not, but never have I had the welcoming like I have had here. In all of the other apartments that I have opened, we have had next to nothing in our apartments, because no one has lived their before. But this was the total opposite. We got in and had pictures on the wall, blankets on the bed, and food in the pantry. What an amazing show of support. Not only that, but we have been getting calls from many of the members asking what they can do to help us, asking if we need anything, and setting up dinner appointments. Its been amazing to say the least. I was truly humbled by the outpouring of love I received just by the way my apartment was set up. They are so eager to help, that it makes us try to be better missionaries. I will give more details following this week of work, and can't wait to give you guys all of the details next week!
             ~Elder Maddox

Letter #52 (Byram, MS)

Hey mom,                                                                                                              Aug. 6, 2013
So another great week in the books here in Byram Mississippi, and time continues to fly. It is really weird that my time is shortly coming to an end here. Another chapter in the book is closing, while another opens up. As far as this week is concerned we spent a lot of time teaching, with a lot of focus on our progressing investigators. Jen, who was scheduled to be baptized this last Saturday had to reschedule because she had to work last Sunday, and couldn't make it to church. But this Sunday she has already got work off, and that means she will be there! Which also means that next Saturday, the 17th, will be her baptisim day! And to make it even better, she asked for me to get permission to come back to baptize her! So that was definetly a cherry on top of the ice cream that has been my time here in Byram. Our other investigator that has been progressing well, Andrew has had some things come up that we have been working with and trying to help him work through, but he will get through them! All part of the fun of missionary work. Other than just working with Andrew and Jen, we have been knocking quite a few doors, trying to make sure that there is plenty for Elder Parker too do once I am gone! I can't believe that Elder Maddox the Second is already in the MTC, pretty crazy to think that there are now 7 members of the Maddox family out serving, because two missionaries got Grandma and Grandpa!
                ~Elder Maddox the First

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Roll Over!

                                                                                                                           About July 24, 2013
Well I received a phone call from the mission president letting me know that Elder Maddox and his companion were in a car accident.  They had been checked out at the hospital and seemed fine.  Well I let him know that Steven had been in a roll over several years ago and had a severe concussion from it that took 22 months to recover from.  So the next day Pres. McDonough had him checked out with an MRI and all looked good.  I was so relieved.  Elder Maddox says he is feeling better just a little sore and his head hurts pretty bad.  A ward member happened  to send me a few pictures of the accident...Just a little scary.  The Elders were heading home after a meeting, it had been raining and the roads were slick.  Steven's Companion was driving, while Steven was making calls for the next day's appointments.  As the came around a curve they slid down a 15 foot embankment, hit the bottom, then rolled over and landed up right.  Lots of damage to the car...the missionaries were much more lucky.